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YONKERS, NY, Saturday, April 22, 2017 - When the 92-year-old boss flies in from San Diego, you don't want to disappoint him. Good thing Mackenzie A (Jordan Stratton, $12.80) held up her end of the bargain Saturday night (Apr. 22nd), winning Yonkers Raceway's $310,600 harness racing final of the Blue Chip Matchmaker. Sitting chilly from post position No. 4, Mackenzie A watched as Lispatty (Brian Sears) leave hard from the pylons, with Shesjustadelight N (Ron Cushing) second and 9-10 choice Mach it a Par (Jason Bartlett) third...all three away in post position order. Meanwhile, Regil Elektra (Yannick Gingras) and Bedroomconfessions (Scott Zeron) tried to leave, only to get parked for their troubles (the latter badly compromised by the former). It was Lispatty leading at the :26.4 opening quarter-mile before Mach it a Par move to take the baton approaching the :55.1 intermission. Down the backside, Shesjustadelight N took out of third, with Mackenzie A third and Medusa (Matt Kakaley) staying in. Mach it a Par was seemingly in control in and out of a 1:23.4 three-quarters, with the uncovered rival pacing in place, forcing Mackenzie A wide. It was Mach it a Par owning a length-and-half lead into the lane, but company was coming. Mackenzie A blew on by, widening to win the ninth Matchmaker by 2¾ lengths in in life-best 1:53.1. Medusa, who had left the cones, failed to match strides with the winner but was a rallying second, with 81-1 rank outsider Diva's Image (Joe Bongiorno) a closing third. That one found her way into the final after original eight-holer Empress Deo came up ill. Mach it a Par faded to fourth, with Shesjustadelight N fifth and Lispatty, Regil Elektra and Bedroomconfessions bringing up the rear. For co-second choice Mackenzie A, a 5-year-old Down Under daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven co-owned by the nonagenarian Harry von Knoblauch (a fine TV interview) and his daughter, Ellen Kinser and trained by Peter Tritton, it was her second win in eight seasonal starts. The exacta paid $167, the triple returned $6,251 the superfecta paid $19,960 (base $2 payout). "I thought I have to race her from off the pace," Stratton said. "The trip worked out perfect for us. I knew there were horses behind and I wanted to move." Stratton won the inaugural edition of the race in 2009 with Pancleefandarpels. Mackenzie A A $75,000 series consolation was won by Hidden Land (Bartlett, $9.50) in 1:54.1. Hidden Land Saturday night's $55,000 Open Handicap Trot was won by Barn Doll (Jeff Gregory, $4.70) in 1:56.4. Barn Doll Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, April 22, 2017 - Keystone Velocity (Dan Dube, $24.80) was hard-used early and hard-headed late Saturday night (Apr. 22nd), winning Yonkers Raceway's $529,000 final of the harness racing George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series. The sport's richest race of the season to date again honored the memory of the Hall of Fame founder of Roosevelt Raceway. At the outset of the 30th Levy, pole-sitting McWicked (Matt Kakaley) was-not surprisingly-put into play. He was joined by Keystone Velocity, who from post position No. 4, forged to the lead just after a spiffy :26.1, opening quarter-mile. Somewhere in L A (Jason Bartlett), leaving right outside of Keystone Velocity, was caught three-wide and forced to wrangle back to fourth. McWicked, who had retaken the lead in the second turn, found a :54.4 intermission before longshot Blood Brother (Brian Sears) moved from third. He uncoupled stablemate Somewhere in L A latched from second-over, with even-money choice Missile J (Tim Tetrick) and last season's champion, Bit of a Legend N (Jordan Stratton), at the back of that train. McWicked maintained his advantage through a 1:22.3 intermission three-quarters (:27.4 third station), taking a tenuous lead into the lane. However, his night was about to come to a unsatisfying conclusion. McWicked was done early off final turn, but not before taking Keystone Velocity to the promised land of the passing lane. It was Keystone Velocity fighting off the race's other tough mile, beating Somewhere in L A by a head in 1:51.2. Missile J settled for third, beaten a length, with a very-wide Bit of a Legend N fourth and 107-1 proposition Soto (Brett Miller) grabbing the final pay envelope. Blood Brother, Pcovocativeprincen (Yannick Gingras) and McWicked completed the order. For Keystone Velocity, a 9-year-old son of Western Hanover co-owned (as Allard Racing) by trainer Rene Allard, Kapildeo Singh, Earl Hill Jr and VIP Internet Stable, it was his third win (as the fifth choice) in seven seasonal starts. The exacta paid $135.50, the triple returned $593 and the superfecta paid $2,406. "Rene (Allard) and I talked before the race and we decided we had to leave the gate," Dube said. "I was just hoping Matt (Kakaley, with McWicked) could get me to the lane. My horse felt very strong, but I did see the other one (Somewhere in L A) coming." The driver/trainer combination won this race two seasons ago with Domethatagain, also with a two-hole trip. Keystone Velocity A $100,000 series consolation was won by Clear Vision (Miller, $8.40) in 1:51.3. Clear Vision Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Friday, April 21, 2017- 'Twas the night before the harness racing finals of the George Morton Levy and Blue Chip Matchmaker and all through the house, not a creature was stirring... ...except for Jordan Stratton. The lad had himself a Yonkers Raceway Friday night (Apr. 21st), winning a personal-best six races during the 11-race card. "I can't explain it," Stratton said. "Everything I drove raced very well. It was just one of those nights." What made Stratton's run that much more impressive was there was nary a favorite in sight. He swept the $150 early double with a first-up That'll Be the Rei ($20.20) in the $23,000, first-race pace (1:53.2) and a down-the-road Mass Balance ($15) in the $27,000, second-race trot (1:57). After taking the third race off, Stratton struck again in the $27,000, fourth-race pace, this time with a closing Ambro Courage N ($43.40) in 1:54.3. Win No. 4 came behind a come-from-behind Lease Ness Monster ($32.60), roaring from the back of the bus in the $27,000, fifth-race pace (1:54.4). Stratton was then parked leaving from the eight-hole in the fifth race--backpedaling to last-then 'won the bob' in the night feature. Freeze Out ($15.60) rallied to take the $40,000, seventh-race Filly and Mare Preferred Handicap Pace by a scant schnoz in 1:54.2. Freeze Out Stratton's happy-half dozen concluded with Platoon Seelster ($21), who scooped up the $27,000, eighth-race trot (1:57.1) after 3-10 favorite Frost Free Hanover (George Brennan) jumped it off on the lead. Stratton ended his night finishing fourth, third and second, respectively. Additional props to driver Brent Holland for his hat trick Friday night. No one took down the Pick 5, so Saturday night's (Apr. 22nd) gimmick begins with a carryover of $3,206.32 (50-cent base wager, races 7 through 11). The Raceway's seven-figure Saturday includes the sport's two richest races of the season to date. $310,600 Blue Chip Matchmaker-8th race (approximate post 9:35 PM) PP-Horse Driver M/L 1-Lispatty Brian Sears 7-1 2-Shesjustadelight N Ron Cushing 4-1 3-Mach it a Par Jason Bartlett 2-1 4-Mackenzie A Jordan Stratton 20-1 5-Regil Elektra Yannick Gingras 5-2 6-Medusa Matt Kakaley 20-1 7-Bedroomconfessions Scott Zeron 6-1 8-Diva's Image Joe Bongiorno 20-1   $529,000 George Morton Levy Memorial-10th race (approx. post 10: 15 PM) PP-Horse Driver M/L 1-McWicked Matt Kakaley 3-1 2-Blood Brother Brian Sears 12-1 3-Missile J Tim Tetrick 4-1 4-Keystone Velocity Dan Dube 9-1 5-Somewhere in L A Jason Bartlett 2-1 6-Bit of a Legend N Jordan Stratton 5-1 7-Provocativeprincen Yannick Gingras 20-1 8-Soto Brett Miller 12-1 Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Wednesday, April 19, 2017 - It's one thing to stand out against many of the finest older harness racing pacers in training. It's quite another to do it as a young'un. Missile J, a relative toddler at the age of four, finds himself worthy of a seat at Saturday night's (Apr. 22nd) adult table for Yonkers Raceway's $529,000 final of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series. This race, and its companion, the $310,600 Blue Chip Matchmaker, are the sport's two richest of the season to date. The Levy, of course, honors the memory of the Hall of Fame founder of Roosevelt Raceway. Back to Missile J we go. The son of American Ideal, already with last season's Art Rooney Pace (for then-owner Ken Jacobs and then-trainer Linda Toscano) here highlighting the resume, was the leader in the Levy clubhouse after winning his first three series starts. With his place in the final thus secured, he took the fourth week off before a 'just don't get hurt' fifth-place effort in last Saturday's (Apr,. 15th) final prelim leg, winding up third in the standings. According to the U-S Trotting Association's Anne Chunko, just four of the previous 29 winners of this race have been 4-year-olds. Though Missile J won the Rooney flashing eight-hole speed, his success in the Levy has been the result of some eye-popping closes. "He's a bit of a hothead," trainer Scott DiDomenico said. "Once you start him up, it's hard to throttle him back down." DiDomenico took over training after the horse changed hands for $115,000 at the Meadowlands sale this past January. This season's early results (in seven wins in nine starts) came on the hooves of a very poor end to 2016, when Missile J finished seventh in the final of the Empire Breeders (Tioga) and eighth (last) in the final of the New York Sire Stakes (here). "We (along with co-owners John McGill and Brian Carsey) just wanted a good Yonkers Saturday night horse," DiDomenico said. "There was no thinking he'd be in the Levy. "I knew he was a high-speed horse who could sprint and was raced hard. He seemed a bit tired at the end of last season, but the first few times we raced him this season (Meadowlands), he was so good that we decided to take a shot and nominate him." In winning his first three series legs, Missile J rallied from sixth, fourth and sixth, snatching victories from venues not usually associated with Westchester win photos. "He wants to chase horses, but even he surprised me a couple of times," DiDomenico-who added an open bridle to the horse's wardrobe--said. "What that allowed us to do was given him a week (round 4) off, and that was big. This is a grueling series, and not having to race every Saturday was a big plus. "Also, having (Timmy) Tetrick each week has been great. The pair leave from post position No. 3 in the Levy. "I have one of the best drivers in the sport and I love the draw," DiDomenico said. "There's speed inside and outside and he (Tetrick) can just watch things unfold. Now, Missile J just has to execute." For all of Tetrick's accomplishments, he has never won this race. The 34-year-old DiDomenico, an Illinois expatriate who earlier this season earned his 1,000th career training victory, has enjoyed his greatest success with the $1.4 million pacing lass, Handsoffmycookie. "Personally, it would be special to win this race, especially here (Yonkers). It's where I've mainly raced the past number of years, and it's where I always prefer to race." Apparently, his charge feels the same way. The field for the 2017 Levy, which goes as the 10th of 12 races (first post 7:10 PM, race is approximately 10:15 PM)... 1-McWicked (Matt Kakaley, 3-1), 2-Blood Brother (Brian Sears, 12-1), 3-Missile J (Tim Tetrick, 4-1), 4-Keystone Velocity (Dan Dube, 9-1), 5-Somewhere in L A (Jason Bartlett, 2-1), 6-Bit of a Legend N (Jordan Stratton, 5-1), 7-Provocativeprincen (Yannick Gingras, 20-1), 8-Soto (Brett Miller, 12-1). Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Monday, April 17, 2017 - Post positions have been drawn for harness racing's two richest races of the season to date, Yonkers Raceway's $529,000 final of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series and its companion event, the $310,600 Blue Chip Matchmaker. The races go Saturday night (Apr. 22nd), highlighting a 12-race card (first post @ 7:10 PM) with total purses of just under $1.3 million. The 30th Levy, once again honoring the memory of the Hall of Fame founder of Roosevelt Raceway, is the 10th race (approximate post 10:15 PM). The field, with declared drivers...1-McWicked (Matt Kakaley), 2-Blood Brother (Brian Sears), 3-Missile J (Tim Tetrick), 4-Keystone Velocity (Dan Dube), 5-Somewhere in L A (Jason Bartlett), 6-Bit of a Legend N (Jordan Stratton), 7-Provocativeprincen (Yannick Gingras), 8-Soto (Kakaley also listed). The ninth edition of the Matchmaker is listed as the eighth race (approx.. 9:35 PM). The ladies shook out as such...1-Lispatty (Sears), 2-Shesjustadelight N (Ron Cushing), 3-Mach it a Par (Bartlett), 4-Mackenzie A (Stratton), 5-Regil Elektra (Gingras), 6-Medusa (Kakaley), 7-Bedroomconfessions (Scott Zeron), 8-Empress Deo (Tetrick). Note that program changes shall be made Tuesday evening (Apr. 18th). Also note that all horses in the final races as separate wagering interests in accordance with New York State Gaming Commission rules regarding stakes worth at least $100,000. A pair of series consolations goes as races 7 (Matchmaker, $75,000) and 9 (Levy, $100,000), respectively. Early page proofs of the four races accompany this release. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Friday, April 14, 2017 - Yonkers Raceway's Blue Chip Matchmaker offered up Round 5 Friday night (April 14h), with a pair of harness racing $40,000 divisions. The opening event saw 2-5 fave Bedroomconfessions (Scott Zeron) get looped leaving, then walk home. That scenario was good news for a second-up Mach it a Par (Jason Bartlett, $7.80), who was carried into the race and into the winner's circle. After Diva's Image (Joe Bongiorno) made the first lead, Bedroomconfessions took over before a :27.4 opening quarter-mile. It was a 57-second intermission before Hidden Land (Tim Tetrick) took out of third. That one disposed of a weak-kneed leader passing a 1:25.4 three-quarters, with Mach it a Par-from post position No. 5-right behind. Hidden Land owned a length lead into the land, but the pursuer blew right by. Mach it a Par widened to win by 2½ lengths in 1:53.2. Diva's Image was third after yet another unlucky trip, with Al Raza N (Matt Kakaley) and Sell a Bit N (Jordan Stratton) rounding out the payees. Bedroomconfessions, back after taking last week off, finished last among the half-dozen, beaten more than a dozen lengths. For second choice Mach it a Par, a 7-year-old daughter of Mach Three trained by Richard Banca for co-owners D'Elegance Stable IX, Carmen Iannacone, T L P & Gandolfo Stables, it was her third win in eight seasonal starts. The exacta paid $27.60, with the triple returning $88.50. Mach it a Par Friday's second Matchmaker soiree had Krispy Apple (Tetrick) tire badly on the lead for the second consecutive start (:28.1, :56.3, 1:24.2), but not before carrying pole-sitting, 17-10 favorite Regil Elektra (Bartlett, $5.50) into the lane, and into a photographer meet-and-greet. Regil Elektra whipped a solid, first-over Lispatty (Brian Sears) by a head in 1:53.1, with Shesjustadelight N (Ron Cushing) third, a cone-skimming Medusda (Kakaley) fourth (first four finishers separated by a neck) and Krispy Apple fading to fifth. Mackenzie A (Stratton) was in the back, threw in steps and never factored. For Regil Elektra, a 7-year-old Mach Three ma'am owned by Fred Monteleone Stable and trained by Keith Armer, it was her fifth win in nine '17 tries. The exacta paid $23.80, with the triple returning $90.50. Regil Elektra The final preliminary standings, courtesy of Bob (OUTP) Miecuna, accompany this release. Note that these do not necessarily represent those horses eligible for the next Saturday's (Apr. 22nd) final and consolation. Those determinations shall be made by the race office, with the draw set for Monday afternoon (Apr. 17th). The purse for the final of the Blue Chip Matchmaker has been calculated at $310,600 (sum of added money, nominating and starting fees), pending conformation by those who keep track of such things. Round 5 of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series goes Saturday night (Apr. 15th), with three, $50,000 divisions. Points Table for The Matchmaker Final Order        Name 1st Leg 2nd Leg 3rd Leg 4th Leg 5th Leg 25 pts/start Total    1   Mach It A Par 50 5 25 12 50 125 267 1   Shesjustadelight N 50 25 50 5 12 125 267 3   Regil Elektra 50 12 50   50 100 262 4   Lispatty 12 8 8 50 25 125 228 5   Bedroomconfessions 25 50 50   0 100 225 6   Mackenzie A 8 50 12 25 0 125 220 7   Medusa 8 8 12 50 8 125 211 8   Empress Deo 25 50 8 8   100 191 9   Divas Image 5 12 5 25 12 125 184 10   Krispy Apple 5 25 12 0 5 125 172 11   Sell A Bit N 0 8 25 0 5 125 163 12   Hidden Land 25 0   8 25 100 158 13   Betabcool N 12 12 25 5   100 154 14   Change The Rulz N 12 5 5 0   100 122 15   Tessa Seelster 5 0 8 0   100 113 16   Al Raza N 0 0 0   8 100 108 16   Quick Draft A 8 0 0 0   100 108 18   Wrangler Magic   25   12   50 87 19   For The Ladies N 0 0 5     75 80 20   Sandbetweenurtoes   5 0     50 55 21   American Girl 0 0       50 50 21   Delightful Dragon 0 0       50 50 21   Devil Child 0     0   50 50 24   Givemeyourheart 0         25 25 24   Nike Franco N 0         25 25 24   Sail To The Beach 0         25 25 Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Thursday, April 13, 2017-- Yonkers Raceway's Thursday night (Apr. 13th) harness racing program was sponsored by the letter 'S'. 'S,' as in Stratton, as in driver Jordan Stratton. 'S,' as in Siegelman, as in trainer Robbie Siegelman. 'S," as in Southern Pursuit N, as in the 62-1 ($126.50) upsetter--driven by Stratton and trained by Siegelman, of the break-filled, $15,000, third-race pace (life-best 1:55.1). The eight-hole bombardier led a $652 exacta and $2,308 triple, while ending a $5,393 Pick 3. 'S' also, as in Sears, as in season-debuting Brian Sears. The Hall of Famer-in-waiting made his first appearance since late last season after laser eye surgery. Sears went 1-for-8 Thursday night, lasting on the lead with odds-on One Through Ten ($3.60) in the $25,000, 11th-race pace (1:53.2). Sears has seven drives Friday (Apr. 14th) and six Saturday (Apr. 15th). The Friday/Saturday cards feature the fifth and final preliminary rounds of both the Blue Chip Matchmaker (two $40,000 divisions) and George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series (three $50,000 divisions). Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, April 8, 2017 - With points leader Missile J getting a week off for good behavior, the Saturday night harness racing marquee was available for rental during Round 4 of Yonkers Raceway's George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series. Three, $50,000 divisions-down from four the first three weeks-went at it. Stablemates Blood Brother (Jason Bartlett, $6.10) and Somewhere in L A (Bartlett again, $7.80) won the second and third events in 1:52.1 and a season's-best 1:51.3, respectively. Blood Brother, from post position No. 2 after a pair of no-shot seven-holes the previous two tries, picked up pace-setting polester McArdle's Lightning (Matt Kakaley) after that one laid down the law (:27.4, :56.3, 1:24.1), It was 8-5 fave Keystone Velocity (Dan Dube) trying it first-up from fourth, pressing the leader to the lane. Blood Brother ducked inside and prevailed by half-length over McArdle's Lightning, with Keystone Velocity hanging in for third. Te Kawau N (Tim Tetrick) and Provocativeprincen (Jordan Stratton) rounded out the payees. For second Blood Brother, a 5-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding trained by Richard Banca for co-owners D'elegance Stable IX, Carmen Iannacone, T L P and P T Stables, it was his second win in 11 seasonal starts (1-for-4 in series). The exacta paid $23, with the triple returning $36. Blood Brother Somewhere in L A, from post No. 3, did it first-up, He engaged pole-siting Mach it So (Tetrick) as that one led through intervals of :27, 56.1, 1:23.3. Somewhere in L A won the stretch battle, picking off Mach it So by a head. Great Vintage (Mark MacDonald) tracked the the winner and wound up third, with Soto (Dube)-a fourth pocket trip in as many series starts-and 7-5 choice Bit of a Legend N (Stratton) settling for the minors. For second choice Somewhere in L A, a 6-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding trained by Banca for co-owners D'elegance Stable IX, Carmen Iannacone, T L P and Gandolfo Stables, it was his fifth win in a dozen seasonal starts (1-for-4 in series). The exacta paid $32.40, the triple returned $153 and the superfecta paid $318.50. "I didn't want to get tortured again with him," Bartlett said of Somewhere in L A and his early-series spped tries. "I had him to relax for the first three-eighths and he did the rest. There's no bottom to him." Somewhere in L A Saturday night's first Levy grouping had a first-over Clear Vision (Brett Miller, $8.90), from post No. 2, gut out a nose win over McWicked (Kakaley). The latter rolled through subsections of :27.2, :56.3 and 1:24, leading every step but the last one. Third went to a pocketed Guantanamo Bay (Stratton), with slight 2-1 choice Wakizashi Hanover (Tetrick) and Caviart Luca (George Brennan) grabbing the smaller envelopes. For third choice Clear Vision, an 11-year-old Western Hanover gelding co-owned by Robert Santagata & Jennifer Lappe and trained by John Kokinos, it was his second win in nine '17 starts (1-for-2 in series). The exacta paid $48.40, with the triple returning $202. "He's one of my favorite horses of all-time," Miller said. "He won first-over for me in the (2014) Battle of Lake Erie (Northfield). A lot of people don't care for him because he won't go by the final horse (though he did tonight). If he did, he'd have made $5 million (he's now at $2.6 million)." Clear Vision Saturday night's $55,000 Open Trot was won by favored Not Afraid (Dube, $5.40) down-the-road in 1:56.1. Not Afraid Special props to the inimitable Foiled Again (Kakaley, $3.90), who notched career win No. 94 in the $27,000, fi opener (1:53.2), going past the $7.5 million earnings plateau ($7,508,033). The evening's Pick 5, buoyed by a double carryover of more than $12,500, attracted $28,524 of new investments, resulted in a winning combination of 2/3/1/2/5, paying $1,579.50 for every correct half-a-buck wager.   Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Friday, April 7, 2017-- Yonkers Raceway's Blue Chip Matchmaker offered up Round 4 Friday night (April 7h), with a pair of harness racing $40,000 divisions. This penultimate prelim event offered a different look, notably one less grouping as some of the marquee ma'ams (co-leader Bedroomconfessions and third-place lass Regil Elektra) taking the week off. The opening event saw the millionairess formerly known as Krispy Apple (Brett Miller) cave off some very tepid fractions (:27.1, :57.1, 1:25.2).. It was only she and Wrangler Magic (Dan Dube) leaving from their respective outer venues, but neither was involved in the outcome. Lispatty (Jason Bartlett, $13.80) earned the decision over a squeezing-through, 36-1 Diva's Image (Joe Bongiorno) in 1:55. The winner, from post position No. 3, improved inside down the backside as 17-10 fave Betabcool N (Mark MacDonald) and second choice Tessa Seelster (George Brennan) both left the cones and were essentially devoid of pace. It was Krispy Apple owning a length-and-three-quarter lead the lane, but she was done. Lispatty angled out, then prevailed by three-quarters of a length. Wrangler Magic lasted for third, Hidden Land (Tim Tetrick) and Betabcool N (Mark MacDonald) settling for the remainder while Krispy Apple retreated to seventh. For fourth choice Lispatty, a 4-year-old daughter of McArdle trainer by Gilberto Garcia-Herrera for owner Gilbert Garcia-Owen, it was her first win in seven seasonal starts. The exacta paid $182.50, with the triple returning $1,594. Lispatty Friday's second Matchmaker soiree had Medusa (Matt Kakaley, $11.20) do what Krispy Apple could not...finish what she started (:28.1, :57.3, 1:25.1, 1:53.3). From post No. 4, Medusa seated longshot Empress Deo, then never had an anxious moment. The pocket-sitter gave way by the three-quarters, with Mackenzie A (Jordan Stratton) taking up the chase. That chase left her a length-a-quarter in arrears at the wire, the same distance in front of a non-threatening 3-4 choice Mach it a Par (Bartlett) Empress Deo and Shesjustadelight N (Ron Cushing) settled for the minors. For third choice Medusa, a 6-year-old daughter of Bettor's Delight co-owned by Randy Bendis and Tom Pollack and trained by Andy Federico Jr., it was her fifth win in 13 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $29.40, the triple returned $60 and the superfecta paid $390. Medusa Round 4 of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series goes Saturday night (Apr. 8), with three, $50,000 divisions.   YONKERS’ SATURDAY PICK 5 FEATURES $12,500 DOUBLE CARRYOVER A friendly reminder from Yonkers Raceway that Saturday  evening’s (April 8th) Pick 5 wager starts with a certifiably-enticing double carryover of $12,570.13.   The Pick 5 is a 50-cent base wager comprising races 7 through 11 (for programs with at least 11 races…if not, then it goes as races 6 through 10). It has no consolation payoff, meaning if no one selects all five winners (as was the case Thursday and Friday nights), the entire pool (minus takeout) moves to the next racing program. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Monday, April 3, 2017-- Jason Bartlett won six races--five by himself (and his horse) -- during Yonkers Raceway's Monday night (Apr. 3) harness racing program. After a sixth-place finish in the opener, Bartlett won the $14,500, second-race trot with Sixteen Mikes ($4.20) in 1:58.1. He then finished third in the third race before he and season-debuting Cultural Paradise ($8 as part of dead-heat) hit the line simultaneously with Jimmy Wintips (Mark MacDonald) in the $17,000, fourth-race pace (life-best 1:56). Bartlett struck again with a passing-plane Awsome Valley ($8), winning a blanket photo in the $16,500, fifth-race trot. The sixth race saw Bartlett and his charge fade to fourth, while he and his seventh-race escort closed for third. Pole-sitting Home James ($7.70) prevailed from the pocket in the $22,00, eighth-race pace (life-best 1:54.3), then odds-on St. Kitts ($2.70) drilled her foes in the $27,000, ninth-race pace (life-best 1:54.3). Bartlett's sixth win of the evening was behind All Down the Line ($8.60) in the $27,000, 10th-race pace (match life-best 1:53.1), though his quest for more resulted in misbehavers in races 11 and 12. The opening round of Yonkers Raceway / Standardbred Owners Association of New York Bonus Trotting Series begins Tuesday night (Apr. 4), with six, $25,000 divisions. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, April 1, 2017-- Horses aren't supposed to win races from where Missile J was situated Saturday night (Apr. 1). He didn't get that memo. Missile J  and harness racing driver Tim Tetrick, unleashed a filthy stretch move, winning his third race in as many tries during Yonkers Raceway's George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series. Round 3 featured another quartet of $50,000 divisions, with Missile J completing his own personal three-peat. After fifth from post position No. 4 the second event, the cause appeared hopeless. Sitting third-over in a stagnant outer tier, Missile J was sixth--3¾ length behind Great Vintage (Mark MacDonald)--after that pole-sitter led through intervals of :27.2, :56.4 and 1:24. Missile J couldn't be bothered with such impediments. He not only won, he measured it off, the final margin over Great Vintage a head in 1:51.3. Third went to Clear Vision (Brett Miller), with Dr. J. Hanover (Scott Zeron) and Santa Fe Beachboy (Jason Bartlett) relegated to the remainder. For Missile J, a 4-year-old American Ideal gelding trained by Scott DiDomenico (big props for 1,000 career training victories) for Hoosierland co-owners John McGill and Brian Carsey, it was his seventh win in eight seasonal starts. The exacta paid $10.80, with the triple returning $50.50. "He wants to chase horses," Tetrick said. "Winning three races from the off the pace the way he has is a plus in a grueling series like the Levy." Defending series champ Bit of a Legend N (Jordan Stratton, $4.90) did get off the seasonal and series schneid, using a solid, two-move effort in the evening's final Levy event. An early fourth from post No. 6, he watched as polester Guantanamo Bay (Scott Zeron) offered some rare early foot (:28.2, :57.3, 1:25.3). Despite those rather comfy fractions, Guantanamo Bay was powerless to stave off Bit of a Legend N. The people's choice took over early in the lane, then edged away by a length in 1:52.4. Second went to an improved McWicked (Matt Kakaley), with Always at My Place (Yannick Gingras), a tiring Guantanamo Bay and Blood Brother (Bartlett) settling for the minors. For Bit of a Legend N, an 8-year-old Down Under son of Bettor's Delight trained by Peter Tritton for owner Harry von Knoblauch, it was his first win in five seasonal starts. The exacta paid $31.40, with the triple returning $117. "Tonight was the first time this season he resembled his old self," Stratton said. "Scoring down, he wanted to kick me out of the bike. He had a lot left at the wire." Saturday night's first Levy grouping had Soto (Kakaley, $10) work out his third pocket trip in the series and earn his second series win. From post No. 2, he conveniently slid in behind 19-10 choice Somewhere in L A (Bartlett). That job was made easier when Bettor's Edge (Miller) and his inside speed broke early and vacated the course. Somewhere in L A laid down the law (:26.3, :55.4, 1:23.4) while being pestered by a second move of Rockin' Ron (Gingras). 'L A' owned a length lead in and out of the final turn, and held well, but not well enough. Soto stuck his tongue out on the money, getting the decision in 1:51.4. Wakizashi Hanover (Stratton) closed for third, beaten a neck, with Rockin' Ron and Mach it So (Tetrick) earning small coinage. For third choice Soto, a 5-year-old son of Rock N Roll Heaven trained by Eric Ell for co-owners Kenneth Wood, William Dittmar Jr. and Stephen Iaquinta, it was his sixth win in 11 '17 starts. The exacta paid $29.20, with the triple returning $121.50. As was the case with Soto, Keystone Velocity (Dan Dube, $3.10) grabbed his second series win. Pocketed from the pole in the third event, he was both lucky and good, getting the passing lane after Caviart Luca (George Brennan) tired (:27, :55.1, 1:23.1). P H Supercam (Miller) cleared first-up, with Provocativeprincen (Stratton) slipping out from behind Keystone Velocity to grab third tow. Provocativeprincen made his had 'first run,' but Keystone Velocity was raging. He zipped up the cones, whipping the 'Prince' by a half-length in 1:51.3. P H Supercam, Caviart Luca and Texas Terror N (Mark MacDonald) rounded out he payees. For Keystone Velocity, a 9-year-old son of Western Hanover co-owned (as Allard Racing) by trainer Rene Allard, Kapildeo Singh, Earl Hill Jr and VIP Internet Stable, it was his second win in four seasonal starts. The exacta paid $13.20, with the triple returning $48.80. Saturday night's $55,00 Open Trot was won by Lady's Dude (Brennan, $3.80) in 1:55 for a second consecutive featured-trot win. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Friday, March 31, 2017-- Yonkers Raceway's Blue Chip Matchmaker offered up Round 3 Friday night (March 31th), with another trio of $40,000 divisions for quite superior--and quite soggy--- harness racing pacing mares fighting a persistent, wind-driven rain. The third round's first division saw Bedroomconfessions (Scott Zeron, $3.80) repeat as an odds-on winner. Leaving from post position No. 5, Bedroomconfessions eschewed an early three-hole to take the lead from Krispy Apple (Brett Miller). The fave held sway (:29.1, :58.2, 1:26.4, 1:55.1), helped out in no small measure when second choice Mach it a Par (Jason Bartlett) violated the 'shortest distance between two points' theory and drifted drastically through the lane. Bedroomconfesssions took advantage of that detour to win by a nose, with Krispy Apple, Tessa Seelster (George Brennan) and For the Ladies N (Tim Tetrick) rounded out the payees. Throw in an outrun Quick Draft A (Mark MacDonald) and the six-pack finished in ascending parimutuel order. For Bedroomconfessions, a 5-year-old statebred daughter of American Ideal co-owned (as Alagna Racing) by (trainer) Tony Alagna and Riverview Racing, it was her fourth win in seven seasonal starts. The exacta paid $4.80, with the triple returning $8.10. The second event saw Regil Elektra (Bartlett, $.40) negate her outside post No. 6 and last on the lead (:28, :58.2, 1:27.2, 1:56.2). She took over from pole-sitting, 3-2 choice Empress Deo (Matt Kakaley), then found the wire in time, beating a first-over Betabcool N (MacDonald) by a half-length and a from-last Mackenzie A (Jordan Stratton) by a length Empress Deo and Change the Rulz N (Brennan) settled for the remainder, while a second-over Sandbetweenurtoes (Miller) was last among the six-pack. For third choice Regil Elektra, a 7-year-old daughter of Mach Three owned by Fred Monteleone Stable and trained by Keith Armer, it was her fourth win in eight seasonal starts. The exacta paid $41.60, with the triple returning $135. Friday night's final Matchmaker grouping had Shesjustadelight N (Ron Cushing, $4.70) join Bedroomconfessions and Regil Elektra as two-leg series winners. Away from third post No. 2, Shesjustadelight N watched as 4-5 fave Medusa (Kakaley) hop over Diva's Image (Joe Bongiorno) and lead the way (:29, :59.4, 1:27.4). Shesjustadelight N moved to challenge just as Diva's Image was ending her evening, the former maintaining the momentum to win by a length in 1:56.4. Sell a Bit N (Stratton) couldn't match strides with her tow but did get into second at 25-1, with Medusa fading to third. Small checkers Lispatty (MacDonald) and Diva's Image, then a trailing Al Raza N (Bartlett) rounded out the order. For second choice Shesjustadelight N, a 7-year-old Down Under daughter of Bettor's Delight co-owned by her driver & Kevin Sywyk and trained by Heidi Gibbs, it was her second win in five '17 tries. The exacta paid $68, with the triple returning $107.50. Round 3 of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series goes Saturday night (Apr. 1), with four, $50,000 divisions. YONKERS’ SATURDAY PICK 5 FEATURES $3,900 CARRYOVER A friendly reminder from Yonkers Raceway that Saturday evening’s (Apr.1st) Pick 5 wager starts with a carryover of $3,906.44.   The Pick 5 is a 50-cent base wager comprising races 7 through 11 (for programs with at least 11 races…if not, then it goes as races 6 through 10).  It has no consolation payoff, meaning if no one selects all five winners (as was the case Friday night), the entire pool (minus takeout) moves to the next racing program. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Thursday, March 30, 2017 - Nominations for Yonkers Raceway's Lawrence B. Sheppard Pace for harness racing 2-year-old colts and geldings close this coming Saturday (Apr. 1), with a however... ...and that however is since deadline day occurs during the weekend, nominations may be postmarked up to Monday (Apr. 3). The $100,000 (est.) race is scheduled for Saturday night, July 15th, with eliminations (is necessary) set for the previous Saturday (July 8th). The form is available here. For more information, please contact the race office at (914) 457-2627.   Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, March 28, 2017 - A pocketed Never Say Never N (Jason Bartlett, $7.10) out-tripped 2-5 favorite Awesomeness (Scott Zeron) Tuesday night (March 28th), winning Yonkers Raceway's 'sloppy' $61,800 harness racing final of the Sagamore Hill Pacing Series. The annual Teddy Roosevelt-A-Thon was open to 3- and 4-year-old pacers (guys only, girls went at in the Petticoat) who are/were non-winners of four races or $40,000 through last Dec. 1. Leaving from post position No. 2, Never Say Never N tracked pole-sitting Prejudice (Jordan Stratton) from the outset. Meanwhile, Awesomeness-from post No. 5-tried to leave, but was wrangled back into a fourth-hole. That trio were the only ones in the final who had each won both of their series starts (one scheduled leg was snowed out). After early intervals of :28.1 of :58.2, Awesomeness was out and moving, trying to stomp out Prejudice in and out of a 1:26.2 three-quarters. Prejudice owned a length-and-a-half lead into the lane, but was surrounded. Awesomeness was resilient, but Never Say Never N had the shorter route and the bigger envelope. The latter whipped the former by a head in a moist 1:54.2. Prejudice was third, beaten a neck, with Sure Fired Bet (Yannick Gingras) and Artmagic (Brent Holland) settling for the remainder. Ideal Son (George Brennan), Wishiwasagigolo (Dan Dube, coupled with Prejudice) and Stirling Escort (Matt Kakaley) finished off the order. "He's quick and fits this track very well," Bartlett said. "Ever since I qualified him, I've been impressed with him. I knew Jordan's horse (Prejudice) would take me to the lane, and it was up to him from there. For second choice Never Say Never N, a 4-year-old Down Under son of Bettor's Delight co-owned by Gerard Stuchbury and Thomas Lazzaro and trained by Heidi Rohr, he's now 5-for-5 this season. The exacta paid $20.20, with the triple returning $30.80. "His best stride has always been near the wire, but sometimes he shuts himself off, so they added a mini bit tonight and it helped." As for Awesomeness, whose own win streak ended at six, "We lost a lot of round in the last turn and Jason (Never Say Never N) was able to get the jump," Zeron said. "(Awesomeness) was out two turns and really running in, so I can't fault the effort." A $30,000 series consolation was won by Magical Cowboy (Gingras, $5.40, part of entry) in 1:55.2. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Monday, March 27, 2017 - You just have to admire someone who was in a sow barn by day and a Yonkers Raceway harness racing winner's circle by night. "She's the best horse we've ever had," owner Jeffrey Williamson said after not-quite-death-and-taxes Cousin Mary (Jordan Stratton, $2.70) easily disposed of her seven rivals in Monday's (March 27th) final of the $61,000 Petticoat Pacing Series. The series was open to 3- and 4-year-old pacers who are/were non-winners of four races or $40,000 through last Dec.1 and pretty much closed once 'Mary' strutted her stuff. After hat-tricking her three Petticoat prelims, Cousin Mary won the draw for the final. Yielding early to St. Kitts (Jason Bartlett), the people's choice took over eight before a :27.4 opening quarter-mile. From there, is was quite simple (:57.2, 1:25.4, 1:54.3) after putting away a first-over bid from Vintage Babe (Yannick Gingras). The margin, a length-and-a-half entering the lane, was 2¾ lengths at the wire. St. Kitts was second, with a closing A Crafty Lady (Dan Dube) third. Vintage Babe and Real Diva (George Brennan) settled for the minors, while Northern Soiree (Matt Kakaley), Rei's Star Cross (Jim Marohn Jr.) and Angels Rockn Pink (Mark MacDonald) rounded out the order. For Cousin Mary, a 4-year-old daughter of Camluck owned by Williamson-a hog farmer northwest of Toronto-and trained by Andrew Harris, it was her seventh win in nine seasonal starts. The exacta paid $13.20, the triple returned $170 and the superfecta paid $704. "Honestly, when she first came to me, I didn't think that much of her,' Harris said. "She was handling (Yonkers') lower conditions, but not going that fast. When she moved up from non-winners of four (races) to non-winners of eight, she lost but raced better than she did when she was winning. "That's when I thought she had a future. Tonight was the first time the series Jordan (Stratton) popped her plugs, and I don't know where her bottom is." A $30,000 series consolation was won by a Winners Over MacDonald, $36.60) in 1:55.1. Monday night's Pick 5, which began with a $5,353.51 carryover, attracted $22,248 worth of fresh investors. The winning combination of 4/1/4/5/1 paid $60.87 for every winning half-a-buck-wager. The $61,800 final of the Sagamore Hill Pacing Series goes Tuesday night (March 28th). Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, March 25, 2017 - Yonkers Raceway's George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series for harness racing Free-For-Allers continued Saturday night, with another quartet of $50,000 divisions. Second choice Missile J (Tim Tetrick, $4.40) enjoyed his off-the-pace antics so much in Round 1, he parlayed the performance this time around. From post position No. 3 in the third division, he was fourth as Somewhere in L A (Jason Bartlett) cleared his six inside rivals with the aplomb of a hurdler. After a :27.3 opening quarter-mile and moving toward a 56-second intermission, even-money fave Provocativeprincen (Jordan Stratton) moved from third. It appeared Bartlett was fighting with his charge to let Stratton and his ride go, but the latter duo could not seize the initiative. Somewhere in L A then threw in a :27.1 backside number (1:23.1) to dispose of Provocativeprincen, taking a length-and-a-quarter lead into the lane. As this was transpiring, Missile J was closing ranks. He rallied from fourth in the lane, beating a solid 'L A' by a length in 1:51.3. Third went to 51-1 P H Supercam (Brett Miller), with 98-1 Texas Terror N (Mack MacDonald) and Take it Back Terry (George Brennan) rounding out the payees. Provocativeprincen backpedaled to last, his first blemish after a 4-for-4 start to his U-S career. For Missile J, a 4-year-old American Ideal gelding trained by Scott DiDomenico for Hoosierland co-owners John McGill and Brian Carsey, it was his sixth win in seven seasonal starts. The exacta paid $40.60, with the triple returning $505. Saturday night's first Levy grouping was a private stretch battle between 3-2 choice Bettor's Edge (Miller) and an uncovered Keystone Velocity (Dan Dube). The latter whipped the pace-setting (:27.3, :56.2, 1:24) former by half-length in 1:51.3. First leader Dr. J Hanover (Scott Zeron) held third-beaten 3½ lengths-with Santa Fe Beachboy (Stratton) and Burning N (Ron Cushing) settling for the remainder. For Keystone Velocity, a 9-year-old son of Western Hanover co-owned (as Allard Racing) by trainer Rene Allard, Kapildeo Singh, Earl Hill Jr and VIP Internet Stable, it was his first win in three seasonal starts. The exacta paid $30, with the triple returning $185. The evening's second series soiree had slight 7-5 choice Rockin' Ron (Yannick Gingras, $4.90) take it the distance from the pole while matching (1:51.1) the fastest local mile of the season. Defending series champ Bit of a Legend N (Stratton) actually poked about a neck in front entering the lane from first-up, but a resurgent 'Ron' won by three-quarters of a length. Soto (Matt Kakaley) was a pocket third, with Mach it So (Tetrick) and Guantanamo Bay (Miller) settling for the minors. For Rockin' Ron, a 5-year-old Real Desire gelding co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke, Weaver Bruscemi and RTC Stables, he's now 3-for-5 to begin the season. The exacta paid $15.20, with the triple (three wagering choices in order) returning $25. "I was worried on the final turn and wanted to save something for the stretch," Gingras said. "I had Bit of a Legend N challenging and Soto in the pocket. He's very easy on himself and he can really sprint home." The second round's final foray offered a 12-1 upset as Melmerby Beach (Bartlett, $26.60) pick off both 3-10 shot All Bets Off (Kakaley) and second choice Wakizashi Hanover (Tetrick). The former set seemingly-sensible fractions (:28, 57, 1:24), but gave way readily in the lane. Melmerby Beach, apparently not bothered by a 27-second third quarter, defeated 'Wakizashi' by a length-and-a-quarter in 1:52, with All Bets Off beaten three lengths. Artistic Major (Zeron) and Great Vintage (MacDonald) wound up with the leftovers. For third choice Melmerby Beach, a 6-year-old son of Somebeachsomewhere owned and trained by Ettore Annunziata, it was his first win in three '17 starts. The exacta paid $132, the triple returned $237.50 and the superfecta paid $464. "He's had his moments," Bartlett said of Melmerby Beach. "I remember last season when he beat Foiled again in this series last season. I was surprised the leaders came back to me, but my horse finished very well." YONKERS' MONDAY PICK 5 FEATURES $5,300 CARRYOVER A friendly reminder from Yonkers Raceway that Monday evening's (March 27) Pick 5 wager starts with a carryover of $5,351.51. The Pick 5 is a 50-cent base wager comprising races 7 through 11 (for programs with at least 11 races...if not, then it goes as races 6 through 10). It has no consolation payoff, meaning if no one selects all five winners (as was the case Saturday night), the entire pool (minus takeout) moves to the next racing program. Frank Drucker

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